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Things to Know When Driving a Race Car for the First Time

Updated: May 4, 2023

When you first get behind the wheel of a race car, you notice a lot of things different from driving on highways. It’s critical to pay attention to the slightest details because everything is

happening very fast. For one, a race car’s power, performance, handling, throttle, and

everything else reacts more quickly.

Whether you bought a race car as an investment or decided to go racing as a serious sport, you are entering the racing world as a newbie race car driver. And there are a few things you need to know about the differences between race cars and regular cars.

In the following paragraphs, take a look at what new drivers observe when they get behind the wheel of a race car for the first time.

Race Cars Go Really Fast

Though it might sound obvious, race cars are extremely fast. These cars are specifically

designed to go from 0 to 100 mph and back to almost 0 mph as quickly as possible. When

you’re driving a race car at peak speed, you will get a rush of adrenaline, so you must pay close

attention to everything that is going on around you.

Racing Causes Tires to Burn

In racing terms, burning does not imply a literal tire catching on fire. When driving a race

car, one thing to keep in mind is that there is no air conditioning. Air conditioning adds unnecessary weight to the car and robs horsepower from the engine. Professional racers typically use a cool suit that circulates cooled water next to their skin to keep them cool. Most beginners just tough it out.

To make it worse on the driver, the heat insulation between the engine and the cockpit has been removed. Again this is extra weight. The front bulkhead between the driver and the engine absorbs heat from the engine and radiates it into the car. Even with the windows down there can be a lot of heat. So you have to anticipate the increase in temperature and be prepared to be uncomfortable at first.

Sitting Can Be Uncomfortable

As the previous point may have indicated, race cars do not provide the same level of comfort as regular cars. There are no arm rests, soft cushion or reclining seats. They are typically ridged seats, sitting very upright, wrapping around your sides to hold you tightly in place. Followed by a 5 point racing seat belt. One strap between your legs, two around your waist and two over your shoulders. All cinched down tight to securely strap you into the race car. The driver's seat is a challenging environment in which to be in. It’s because of these and other special modification made to all race cars that keep drivers safely capable of withstanding a dangerous accident. Safety first, comfort second.

You Have to Learn Professional Skills

Without expert abilities and techniques, one has little chance of winning the race. You must

understand how and where to apply brakes, when to shift gears, and how to keep the tire

temperature constant. Too hot is just as bad as too cold. Without these professional skills, your race car might as well be a decorative souvenir—which is not a bad thing. Then again, it’s still more exhilarating to feel the thrill of driving a race car for its true purpose of finding it full potential and yours as a driver.

Race Cars Make You Feel Different

Race cars, according to industry experts, are completely different then your normal road coar. Professional race cars can have a top speed of greater than 280-300 km/h and some feature engines that can produce +800-900 horsepower. If you ever have the chance to drive even a more modest race car, take the chance, you will never feel the same way about driving ever again.


These helpful hints will help you get in the mind set for your first race car experience. GT Race Experience may not have the multimillion dollar race cars but our track prepared cars are built to be much more forgiving for your first time on the race track. Just remember that it’s all about being smooth in the corners when racing a car. For this reason, being prepared with proper training and introduction to the features will make your first visit to the race track exciting and, most of all, safe.

Get the best race track driving experience in Vancouver through GT Race Experience. We let you feel the thrill and power experienced by professional race car drivers. Check out our offerings to find the experience you want to try!

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